By SANFROSSA MANYINDA
INDIVIDUALS who will be found wanting in the on-going investigations into the PHI plot alleged to have been irregularly sold to a Chinese contractor for a shopping mall will be dealt with mercilessly, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Jean Kapata has warned.
Ms Kapata said Government would not hesitate to prosecute any individual or firm that would be exposed in the illegal land dealings probe.
The land in question belongs to Chainama Hospital and the Presidential Housing Initiative was allowed to build structures following extensive invasion by squatters.
A senior PHI official told the Daily Nation that strict instructions were given by Zesco to distance the housing development from the pole lines and a fence was subsequently constructed to stop any development.
PHI residents were however shocked to learn that a Chinese firm, Zhangshi Wood Investment Limited bought the land and almost begun the process of putting up a shopping mall on land meant for a recreation centre.
Ms Kapata announced that investigations had been instituted into the matter and Lusaka City Council (LCC) had been advised to put its house in order where issues of land allocation were concerned.
The minister said she had instructed the commissioner of lands to go on the ground and find out what the truth of the matter was on the land in question.
” This is even the reason why Lusaka City Council is suspended. Others are not given land when they apply for land that is located near Zesco pylons but the foreign nationals are given. This is why Lusaka City Council is suspended. We can’t go on like this,” she said.
She said it was the council that recommended to the ministry of Lands that title be given for the land in question without elaborating.
She however maintained that the ministry and government stood with the community on the matter.